One of my favorite locations for trooping is Blossom Music Center, the giant wooden amphitheater in the middle of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and summer home for the world famous Cleveland Orchestra. This year, the Cleveland Orchestra decided to end their summer concert series with a two-night tribute to the movie scores of John Williams, which includes blockbuster hits like "Harry Potter," "Indiana Jones," "Superman: The Movie" and of course the "Star Wars" saga.
|photo by: Gina Platzer|
Because John Williams’ music is such an integral part of what made Star Wars so popular, the Cleveland Orchestra invited Rebel Legion, Ohio Garrison, Rancor Clan and The Dark Empire to be part of the weekend. Keep in mind, Blossom Music Center is a HUGE venue (able to host over 23,000 guests) with both pavilion and lawn seating. Thankfully, we managed to get reinforcements from neighboring Carida Garrison.
Because of the beautiful Labor Day weekend weather people were arriving as soon as the gates opened, many carrying blankets and picnic baskets. Since it was Labor Day weekend, you can imagine how HOT the weather was for folks wearing heavy Star Wars costumes. Thankfully, everyone made a point to stay hydrated and we had NO issues with Troopers/Rebels going down due to the heat.
Every time we visit Blossom Music Center is a little different from the last. This being my FIFTH time trooping at this venue, I tend to look for what separates this one from the others. What this event had was A LOT of photos taken with guests walking in; which as Obi-Wan would say... “That’s WHY I’m HERE!”
But seriously, I don’t believe that I have taken more “selfies” with guests in my life as I did this weekend – in addition to regular photo ops. Most of our group was spread out near the main entrance, with a line of people waiting for their chance to take pictures with each small group of characters. A few of us broke away and walked over to the far pavilion area for a few private photo ops with guests.
As you would expect over a holiday weekend, the Sunday concert as just as busy as the night before. (maybe even more so?) Another beautiful summer day and waves of guests stopping to take pictures with us as they enter the main gates. I ended up serving a dual-role as 1/2 Rebel Pilot, 1/2 "traffic cop" -- having to instruct guest where to lineup, in between taking photos, and stopping more then a few "photo bombers" from crashing the line and other people's picture time with us.